Anatomical variations of the upper limb principal arteries

Marek Konarik, Department of Anatomy, Second Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic; Department of Histology and Embryology, Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Marek Konarik, Department of Anatomy, Second Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic; Department of Histology and Embryology, Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

The arteries of the upper limb are clinically very important vessels. Although their detailed arrangement and course are well known, their variations are a bit unclear. The occurrence is varying across existing studies and classification is rather complicated, sometimes even unclear, and not suitable for simple and direct understanding and usage. Many articles contain incorrect, inappropriate and sometimes misleading terminology.

These were the reasons to perform an anatomical cadaveric study of the variability of the arteries of the upper limb, namely the axilla (armpit), arm and forearm in a Central European population, using altogether 423 specimens. This study was done by the group of researchers from the Charles University and College of Polytechnics Jihlava.

In their paper published in BJBMS, the researchers proposed to apply a suitable terminological system for the principal variation of the upper limb arteries and stated their occurrence.

Extensive development of diagnostic and therapeutic methods of the coronary arteries, using approach via the forearm arteries (radial or ulnar) as well as of surgical procedures using cutaneous and musculocutaneous flaps based on branches of these arteries necessitate thorough data on occurrence of the variant arteries for safe performance of these procedures to prevent any unexpected situations or to react adequately in such.

Reference:

Konarik M, Musil V, Baca V, Kachlik D. Upper limb principal arteries variations: A cadaveric study with terminological implication. Bosn J of Basic Med Sci. 2020

Editor: Edna Skopljak

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